Return to names A-Z
Pieter-Dirk Uys is a South African satirist (born 28 September 1945, Cape Town, South Africa), active as a performer, author, and social activist. He is the son of a Calvinist Afrikaner father and Berlin-born Jewish mother and had an NG Kerk upbringing. He began his dramatic career as a serious playwright, switching to one-man revues at the height of the Apartheid era.
Uys is particularly well known for his character Evita Bezuidenhout (also known as Tannie Evita), a white Afrikaner socialite and self-proclaimed political activist. The character was inspired by Australian comedian Barry Humphries's character Dame Edna Everage. Evita is the ambassadress of Bapetikosweti - a fictitious Bantustan or black homeland located outside her home in the affluent, formerly whites-only suburbs of Johannesburg. Evita Bezuidenhout is named in honour of Eva Perón. Under Apartheid, Uys used the medium of humour and stand-up comedy to criticize and expose the absurdity of the South African government's racial policies. Much of his work was not censored, indicating a closet approval of his views by many members of the ruling party, who were not so bold as to openly admit mistakes and criticize the policies themselves.